There’s not a more well known food that really captures the hearts and minds of Trekkies than Plomeek Soup. First show in the Star Trek episode “Amok Time”, this Vulcan dish tends to come up a lot. And unfortunately for me, it also comes up in different forms and colors. Some people remember it as being purple, others know it for the orange-red color of it. It’s a breakfast dish that you can eat any point because it’s nutritious Vulcan comfort food that is bland and not very palatable to humans
Unless Neelix makes it, then it has a certain piquant flavor that really misses the spirit of the original Plomeek soup.
What I’m saying is, there’s a reason it took me this long to make something that seems, on the surface, to be a pretty easy soup. After all, it’s just a vegetarian soup that is bland, right? That can’t possibly be difficult to make.
Well, you would be right if we just want a vegetable soup. However, where some (Star Trek Cookbook) might make varying recipes to fully capture all the different styles, I decided to create one version that can be easily modified based on what we know about Vulcan, Vulcans and Terran foods.
What can I say? I like going for gold.
For example, as we learned in the Star Trek episode “The Man Trap”, Vulcans lack a certain amount of salt in their bodies. In fact, they may have none. This matters because humans salt their food. Salt is something the human body needs in order to function but we don’t make it naturally. It’s also the ingredient most chefs would pick as what they would want to bring to a desert island given that salt also enhances the sweetness of foods, something humans love, while blocking the bitterness, which is a taste that makes the human brain think of poison because… evolution.
So right out the gate we can see, I think too much about how I craft these recipes, but also, that any Vulcan dish should not have salt. And if you’ve ever tried to cook without salt, you may have realized how much humans use salt. The stuff even winds up in bottled water.
And this isn’t even considering what makes soup purple…
However, but I am getting off topic when you guys just came here for a recipe for Plomeek Soup. So I’ll move onto the recipe, but if you’re curious about how I came up with the basic standards of my Vulcan cuisine, I got you.
Now, onto the recipe.
Mise En Place
In order to make Plomeek Soup you are going to need two Sweet Potatoes, four Carrots, 1.5 cups Mushroom Blend, two Leeks, two Shallots, six stalks Celery, six cups Water and one tablespoon Lemon Juice. And for our spices we’re using black pepper, one teaspoon Cumin, a teaspoon Coriander, one teaspoon, Paprika.
Note: The Mushroom blend is a mix Oyster, Cremini and Shitake because a variety of mushrooms give a more interesting flavor, but don’t feel hemmed in by that. Use whatever mushrooms are available to you that you enjoy.
Now to say that this recipe took me months to come up with, it’s very easy to make because at it’s heart, it’s a vegetable broth with sweet potatoes. Yeah, I took months to create vegetable broth with sweet potatoes in it because I was thinking too hard when the recipe was always meant to be simple. I mean, it’s a bland vegetarian dish.
However, unlike when I make vegetable broth to… make vegetable broth, you don’t want to use scraps seeing how we want to eat the resulting soup. However, you can also use the scraps of this to make vegetable broth. It’s also a great thing to have in the fridge for cooking.
Now, first up, you want to chop your vegetables into bite sized portions, especially if you intend to eat the soup without blending it because it’s a very good vegetable soup on its own. So peel your potatoes, don’t worry about dicing the shallots so much, and do what you please chopping wise.
Once we have all our vegetables prepped, we are going to take roughly a tablespoon of olive oil and add it to our pot. Then you’re going to want to add that pot to a medium-high heat and let the oil heat up before adding in the Smoked Paprika and Cumin. Let those really blend with oil and get a little toasted to better bring out the flavor of the ingredients before adding in your aromatics, which will be your shallots and and leeks. You just want to sauté those, along with the mushrooms so that you can get that subtle meaty note out of them.
Once everything is tender, we’re going to add in the rest of the vegetables, the rest of you spices and the water in that order. You run less of a risk of oils popping off at you if you have a nice vegetable barrier on top of it.
Once everything is in the pot, you are going to cover it and let it cook for about thirty minutes or until everything is nice and soft when poked with a fork. At this point, you have the option of grabbing an immersion blender and blending up the vegetables like shown in the picture or you can eat it as is. I know the plomeek on the show tended to be more smooth and blended, but look, you’re the one that has to eat it so do what you do.
Bonus Tip: In Star Trek Voyager, Neelix makes a rather piquant styled Plomeek Soup. My advice for achieving that would be adding some crushed red pepper. A little tends to go a long way when boiling it in a soup, but it’s all about the kind of heat you want. It shouldn’t mess with the flavor too heavily.
- 2 Sweet Potatoes Peeled and Chopped
- 2 Carrots Chopped
- 4 Celery Stalks Chopped
- 2 Leeks Chopped
- 1 1/2 cups Mushrooms Sliced
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Coriander
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 6 cups Water
- In a large pot, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over a medium-high heat.
- Add in the coriander and smoked paprika to the oil and allow to toast for a few seconds before adding in the leeks, shallots and mushrooms to sauté them until fragrant
- Once the aromatics are fragrant, add in the remaining ingredients to the pot and cover, allowing to cook for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- When the soup is done, either use an immersion blender to create a smooth soup or eat it as is.
Made the recipe? Show us on instagram using the hashtag #thecaptainstablelog and be sure to tag @_thecaptainstable while you’re at it.